The sky is darkening as the day finally succumbs to clouds and the threat of rain, and as the final pale tendrils of light disappear beyond the horizon comes a sound that is older than time. The deep, reverberating throb of the didgeridoo and the enticing beat of the African drum breaks into the stillness of the garden and silences the chatter the hotel. One by one we emerge into the night, drawn perhaps by the primal urge of the music that our ancestors once heard.
A blaze of flame soars into the sky - and then another. Two dancers appear with their flame-sticks and so begins the courtship of night and fire and music. Sensuous, mesmerising, their slight figures weave in the flames as they juggle and dance. It looks so easy, so effortless - and yet we know it's not.
Several of the male guests are taking lots of photos - hardly surprising as the girl is scantily dressed and almost feline as she dances with the poi. The ladies of the party are eyeing up the young man beside her. He's tall, dark, tattooed and shall we say perfectly proportioned. All in all, everyone enjoyed watching them both.
So now it is over. I can breathe a sigh of relief that I could manage to get into that skirt. That the rain held off. That nearly every guest arrived, and that I sold lots of books and had a very good time.